Taiwan and the U.S. signed a joint agreement on recognizing supply chain security verification programs Nov. 26, an important step in fast-tracking customs clearance for certified companies from both countries.
“The pact marks another breakthrough in bilateral relations following Taiwan’s greenlighting of American beef imports and inclusion in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program,” said Jacob Chang, acting head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S.
Chang and Barbara Schrage, managing director of the American Institute in Taiwan, concluded the deal at a signing ceremony in Washington. Also attending were Hwang Ding-fang, ROC deputy minister of finance and acting head of the Directorate General of Customs, and Charles E. Stallworth and Kevin K. McAleenan, acting assistant commissioners of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
According to Chang, the agreement allows companies certified under the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and Taiwan’s Authorized Economic Operators programs to be exempt from double customs inspections and enjoy streamlined processing procedures. “The deal brings about safety and convenience in bilateral trade and helps boost competiveness for certified companies,” he said.
Launched in 2009, the AOE program recognizes more than 500 firms complying with secure supply chain standards. Shipments from these companies accounted for 25 percent, or US$15.7 billion, of Taiwan-U.S. trade last year.